Transcultural validity of a structured diagnostic interview to screen for major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder among refugees
ABSTRACT Refugees and asylum seekers have a high risk of developing mental health problems and appropriate screening in people from diverse origins remains a challenge. The aim of this study was to validate a structured diagnostic interview, adapted from the Major Depressive Episode (MDE) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) sections of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, to detect these disorders among newly arrived asylum seekers. The adapted questionnaire was administered by nurses in a primary care context and its performance was judged against the expert opinion of a mental health specialist. One hundred one subjects were included in the study (mean age: 30; origin: Africa 58%, Europe: 37%, Asia: 5%). MDE and PTSD were diagnosed among 33% and 30% of them respectively. The questionnaire demonstrated moderate sensitivity (MDE: 79%; PTSD: 69%), but high specificity (MDE: 95%; PTSD: 94%). These characteristics remained stable despite cultural differences and use of interpreters. This instrument could be used for systematic screening of MDE and PTSD in refugees from various origins.
International Journal of Mental Health 09/2009; 38(3):88-111. DOI:10.2753/IMH0020-7411380306
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ABSTRACT: The negative effect of exposure to traumatic events on mental health is well known. Most studies of the effects of trauma on mental health in war-affected populations have focused on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Although some studies confirm the existence of anxiety symptoms in war-affected populations, the extent to which exposure to traumatic events is independently associated with anxiety diagnoses (other than PTSD) has received less attention. The study aimed to determine whether having an anxiety diagnosis, other than PTSD, was associated with experiencing traumatic events in a post-conflict setting, across genders and after controlling for demographic and socio-economic variables. In this cross-sectional community study (n = 1200), we applied the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ) to investigate the extent of trauma exposure and PTSD. The Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) was used to investigate the prevalence of anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and agoraphobia. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between these disorders, previous trauma exposure, and socio-economic factors. The participants were 56.4% male and 43.6% female. The age ranged between 18 and 73 years old (Mean 34.63, SD = 12.03). The estimated rates of GAD-only and PD-only (without comorbidity with PTSD) were 5.5% and 3.1%, respectively. Exposure to traumatic events and socio-economic disadvantage were significantly associated with having one or more anxiety diagnoses. After controlling for age, sex, rural/urban setting, and socio-economic disadvantage, exposure to trauma was independently associated with anxiety diagnosis. There were gender differences in the pattern of risk factors for having PTSD, GAD or PD. In individuals with a history of war-related trauma exposure, attention should be given to symptoms of GAD and PD, in addition to PTSD symptoms.BMC Psychiatry 01/2014; 14(1):6. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-14-6 · 2.24 Impact Factor